Are integrated care centres the future?
A multi-million-pound Integrated Care Centre, the first of its kind in the UK, is beginning to take shape in the East Yorkshire city of Hull. The new centre will bring health and social care services, community services and service users together into one place. The vision for the centre is clear:
A new community-based approach to significantly reduce unplanned (urgent) admissions to hospital for older patients. People will receive assessment, treatment and support in a comfortable and relaxed environment.
The development comes as a result of Hull City Council and NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) joining forces. Both parties are very aware of the need for significant change to relieve the region’s under pressure NHS trust. They have themselves stated that, ‘making minor adjustments to the way people are treated will not achieve the scale and pace of change needed to create a healthier Hull’.
Consequently, the Hull Integrated Care Centre promises a fresh approach by bringing a range of community services together. These include adapted housing, health services and perhaps surprisingly a fire department. Hull CCG is hoping that this extensive collaboration can bring about some of the significant change needed.
The Hull Integrated Care Centre scheme
The Hull Integrated Care Centre itself is not a residential facility itself but rather a clinic. Its key purpose is to provide a patient ‘check-up’ facility with the view to prevent admissions to Hull’s major hospitals. The emphasis is on speedy tests, diagnosis and treatment from doctors, nurses, clinicians and therapists.
Older people at risk of admission to Hull Royal Infirmary or Castle Hill Hospital will be treated at the Integrated Care Centre as the national focus shifts away from hospitals and treatment closer to people’s homes.
Whilst there are similar centres around the UK, Hull’s is the first to include so many services on the same site. The Integrated Care Centre itself will offer:
- Rapid access assessment unit to see a senior doctor
- Diagnosis services
- Services to support long term conditions
- Rehabilitation, reablement (gym facilities) and physiotherapy
- Occupational therapy and clinic appointments with hospital specialists
- Services offered by the voluntary sector
- Multi-agency team to support people in their own homes
- Adult social care services
Alongside the Integrated Care Centre, a housing development is also taking place. 54 ‘supported living’ bungalows have had plans approved and are awaiting construction. Aptly, the plans were drawn up by a housing association that specialises in providing homes for people with additional care needs.
Hull City Council will be able to provide adequate housing in pleasant surroundings for citizens in need. The housing will particularly benefit those who need regular access to health services and currently receive home visits. The proximity to the Integrated Care Centre will have cost-saving benefits for both the council and the NHS.
The illustration above shows the planned layout of the Integrated Care Centre and housing development.
The scheme's surrounding area will also benefit
Apart from the Integrated Care Centre and housing development, the scheme will also provide services to the immediate area. The development is being built in East Hull, an area where there are a lot of elderly citizens and people with long term conditions. It is also an area with a high number of emergency admissions to Hull Royal Infirmary.
The surrounding residents of the scheme will be able to take advantage of the new Integrated Care Centre as well as benefit from the centralised community services including a new fire station and local clinic.
A unique partnership with the fire service
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) will also have a station on the site. Specially trained fire personnel will support the rehabilitation and recovery of patients following a hospital stay. The station will also be used for emergency call out to the surrounding residential and industrial areas.
The fire station will be home to the Hull FIRST (Falls Intervention Response Safety Team) scheme. This is a partnership between HFRS and health community services that work together to provide a rapid 24/7 response for falls patients.
Find out more about the Hull FIRST project on the Yorkshire Ambulance Service website. Click here.
The people behind the Integrated Care Centre
Practically every major community organisation and health and social care service in Hull and East Yorkshire is involved in this brilliant scheme. Especially instrumental is Hull City Council’s agreement to gift the land, worth £786,000, to Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). The region’s NHS trust, Humberside Fire and Rescue, Hull 2020, Citycare and a number of other organisations and partnerships have come together to display collaboration for community benefit at its best. Here’s to a successful scheme that will have a positive impact the people of Hull and East Yorkshire and provide a platform for other UK regions to follow.
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